What Causes Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is an STD caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It is a very common sexually-transmitted disease that is often contracted in conjunction with gonorrhea.
How Can You Contract Chlamydia?
Chlamydia can be contracted by having oral, vaginal or anal sex with an infected person. It is spread through both heterosexual and homosexual sex. Men and women can contract the disease in the throat, the vagina, the penis and the anus. A person treated for chlamydia can be easily reinfected upon having sex with a partner who has not been treated.
Is Chlamydia Dangerous to Women?
Chlamydia is most dangerous to females. The majority of women infected with chlamydia do not experience any symptoms. However, chlamydia can silently cause irreparable harm to their reproductive systems and render them sterile, even before they realize they are infected with the disease. Women who are reinfected with chlamydia are at even greater risk for long-term damage to their reproductive organs. About 15 percent of women infected with chlamydia develop pelvic inflammatory disease, which often leads to pregnancy outside the uterus or infertility. Regular testing for chlamydia for sexually active females is the only way to detect the disease so it can be treated. Sexually active females should have a chlamydia screening at least annually. Pregnant women should also have a chlamydia screening, as chlamydia can be passed from a mother to her child at birth.
Is Chlamydia Dangerous to Men?
Chlamydia seldom causes complications in men other than discharge from the penis, although it can cause epididymitis and, in rare cases, sterility. Researchers believe, however, that a person infected with chlamydia is more susceptible to contracting HIV from an infected partner than someone who does not have chlamydia.
What is the Treatment for Chlamydia?
Chlamydia can be treated and cured with either a single dose or seven-day regimen of antibiotics. For seven days after the single antibiotic dose or during the course of the seven-day regimen, an infected person should abstain from having sex with other people. Anyone infected with chlamydia should get a follow-up test about three months after being treated to ensure that the disease has been cured.
How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is known as a silent disease. The only way to make sure you aren’t infected with chlamydia is to get tested for it. If you go to your doctor for a chlamydia test that turns out positive, your doctor will report your name and other vital statistics to the state health department. Instead, you can get a truly anonymous chlamydia test by following the instructions in our Anonymous Guide to STD Testing.
How Common Is Chlamydia?
The CDC reports that medical professionals, who are required by law to report your name and other personal information to the state health department if you test positive for chlamydia, reported 500,000 people last year to state health departments for having a chlamydia infection. The CDC estimates that actual infection rates are much higher because some people take steps, such as those found in our free guide to anonymous chlamydia testing, and get an anonymous chlamydia test.
How Can I Find Out More Information About Chlamydia?
For more information about chlamydia, read the CDC Fact Sheet on the disease.